Tomorrow we are joined by the newest member of the Unit Chambers family, Kelsey Marron, as she embarks on her twelve-month pupillage. We wanted to get to know her so we caught up with her in advance of her pupillage.
When did you first realise you wanted to be in Law?
As a child, the only comprehension of a lawyer was a person who speaks on behalf of others. With a growing passion for reading, writing, and talking in particular, this appealed to me as a dream job before I had any real understanding of what a career in law would entail.
My family still tell the story of the time when my teacher in Year 5 asked if I wanted to be a solicitor, and I corrected her by telling her that I did in fact want to be a barrister. The only differentiation I understood at that age was that a barrister talked in court more. I told my teacher with conviction that I was going to be a barrister one day, and she was thrilled to hear the news of my call to the Bar and pupillage recently.
What are you most looking forward to while working at Unit?
Being able to benefit from the strong support networks that exist within Chambers. I am most looking forward to being part of a close-knit, supportive team whereby there is a real sense of camaraderie amongst members at all levels.
I thrive when I am able to be myself, be appreciated for that, and feel comfortable seeking help from others. I know from my engagement with Unit thus far that they are unequivocal in their promise of a supportive working environment. I am confident, therefore, that I can develop a flourishing practice whilst remaining true to myself and developing an individual style as an advocate.
What would you say is the biggest challenge to young people starting a career in Law?
My headline answer is standing out. I have experienced first-hand the degree of competition that young people starting out in Law have to contend with. It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out on paper to secure legal experience, which is then a barrier to securing pupillage or a training contract.
What is often overlooked by young people in the infancy of their legal career is the importance of being themselves. It is crucial for individuals to demonstrate what individual qualities they have, whether derived from legal experience or otherwise, and how these are transferrable to having a successful future legal practice.
My top tips for standing out when applying for legal experience, trainee or pupillage roles, or paid legal positions are as follows:
- Start early with your applications and familiarise yourself with the process
- Be selective and relevant with what you include on your CV/application – it is about quality not quantity
- Be yourself throughout any application process. Use your individual characteristics and life experiences to differentiate yourself from other candidates
What is the most interesting thing about you?
My journey from a non-traditional background to where I am today. I come from a low income, single-parent household and I am the first in my family to attend university. I have worked incredibly hard to overcome the barriers I faced early in terms of my financial circumstances and starting my career without any contacts in the legal field.
In the face of financial challenges, I have worked since the age of 14 and supported myself financially throughout university, holding down multiple jobs where necessary. This includes most recently as a Paralegal whereby I maintained my employment in hospitality alongside my full-time legal role.
I have built up a network of legal contacts by gaining legal experience, such as mini-pupillages, and making a good first impression. On occasion, this has led to subsequent contacts and experiences where practitioners have very kindly put me in touch with others in their network.
Although my journey to the Bar has not always been easy, I take great pride in the fact that I have overcome any barriers to get to where I am today, despite coming from a background considered to be non-traditional.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
As part of the mentoring scheme ran by Inner Temple, I was assigned a mentor with a practice in family law. As my first female role model in law, my mentor is undoubtedly my biggest inspiration. Not only is she an exceptional advocate, but she is also unapologetically herself. I am inspired by her journey from humble beginnings to taking silk in 2020, whilst supporting others in or seeking to enter the profession.
I am guilty of being overly self-critical at times, fuelled by imposter syndrome. My mentor has been instrumental in helping me overcome any doubts I have had about whether I am the right fit for a career at the Bar. I’ve learned there is no right fit, and the difference is important in barristers who represent individuals from the widest cross-sections of society or aspire to do so. I will always be extremely grateful to my mentor, and biggest inspiration, for this lesson and her continued support.
If you were a type of holiday, what would you be?
Without a doubt, I would be an island holiday. A remote beach setting where life is simple, there is a real sense of community, and people are happy.